Local News

Triangle Military Recruiters Staying Busy

Posted September 20, 2001 12:24 p.m. EDT

— Last week's assault on the Pentagon and World Trade Center had a lot of people looking for a way to help. For many of them, the answer is defending their country, by joining the ranks of the armed forces.

Whether it is a Marine Corp recruiting office in North Raleigh, or an Army recruiting station in Cary, last week's tragedies have become a call to serve.

"We've noticed a significant increase," said one recruiter.

Mike Hautekeete, a 17-year-old Apex High School senior, had wondered about joining the armed forces. The attack on America solidified his sense of duty. He signed up to be a Marine.

"I'm more surprised that someone would actually try something like this against the U.S.A., and I just want to be able to get into action a little bit, and then back it up with the education they allow," Hautekeete said.

Recruiters said it is not just young men and women. Much of the interest comes from people who have served before.

"It's something that stayed with them and when it's time to put it to work, they're willing to do it whether they're still in or not," SFC James Knott said.

"We've gotten interest within an age range of 40-years-old up to I believe, a gentlemen called in who was 60-years-old. It's a good feeling knowing the patriotism is still there," Gunnery Sgt. Darryl Foster said.

Recruiters say the increased interest in military service is very similar to what was seen during the Persian Gulf War.

They also say despite the current crisis, military standards to enlist will not be lowered.